Things I Love: Martha Stewart Acorn Lamp

, by Zoë Gulliksen

This article was originally published at Martha Stewart's site in 2008. By my apartment there is an Center for Avian and Exotic Medicine and these acorn lamps are in their window display. Some of you may already know that one of my prized processions is my acorn necklace as seen in my default pictures across my sites. I have a special affinity for acorns and I fell in love with these lamps. One day I finally went into the center & asked where they purchased the lamps from. A worker told me they were made by Martha Stewart's in house crafter, Kristin St Clair, specially for them. Thankfully I found this article online and one day this year I'll make them for myself.

Tools and MaterialsLarge balloon
Vegetable oil
Fire retardant
Water-and-glue mixture (1 part white glue to 1 part water)
Brown or green tissue paper
Foam brush
Brown or green felt
Hot-glue gun and hot-glue sticks
Utility lampshade
Bulb socket with brown cord
Fluorescent lightbulb
Leaf template
Screw punch
Floral wire

Acorn Lamp How-To1. Blow up the balloon and tie. Tape the tie flat on the balloon -- this will be the point of the acorn. Grease the balloon with vegetable oil so the glue won't stick to the balloon.

2. Spray cheesecloth with fire retardant and allow to dry. Stretch treated cheesecloth over balloon and saturate cloth with water/glue mixture. Let dry.

3. Cut tissue paper into 2-inch-wide triangular strips. Brush water-and-glue mixture onto balloon with a foam brush, place a strip of tissue paper on the balloon (with triangle point at tip), and brush mixture over the strip. Repeat to create a layer of strips all over balloon. Allow the layer to dry and repeat, covering entire balloon with 3 to 4 layers. Allow layers to dry overnight.

4. Poke a hole on the rounded end of the balloon and allow the balloon to deflate. Remove the balloon. Trim excess tissue paper.

5. Cut 2-inch squares from felt and turn them on point so they are diamonds. Hot-glue the felt diamonds onto a utility lampshade, starting at the bottom rim of shade. Cover rim by folding diamonds over edge.

6. Overlap diamonds to cover the rest of the lampshade, using a dab of hot glue in the center of each to attach. Cut vent holes in the remaining felt pieces to align with the vent holes on the top of lampshade.

7. Wrap 1/2-inch strips of felt around a brown bulb socket cord, attaching with dabs of hot glue. To create little branch knobs, roll a strip of felt into a spiral and glue to cord.
Note: Felt can also be sprayed with fire retardant.

8. Screw in fluorescent light bulb.

9. Print and trace leaf template onto felt. Cut out leaf shapes. Make holes with a screw punch as marked on the template. Weave floral wire through the holes of each leaf and secure with a smidgen of glue at ends. Attach leaves to cord with hot glue.

ResourcesLamp parts are available at any hardware or lighting store. Tissue paper can be found in packs of 24 Cheesecloth is available at most grocery stores and any fabric store. Wool felt is available from Fire retardant is available from


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